The progress bar.
A common element on websites and applications.
You’ve seen all kinds of progress bars, from animated clocks to a vertical bar that fills up slowly from left to right.
And sometimes it feels like watching the progress bar is waiting for a pot of water to boil.
As science and culture journalist Daniel Engber explains in his three-minute TED video, it doesn’t really matter whether the percent done indicator in a progress bar is giving you the correct percentage done.
What matters is that the progress bar exists.
The progress bar gives you the vision of a beginning and an end. You’re working towards a goal.
Seeing the progress bar makes people feel better.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.